François Desharnais was born in Arthabaska, Quebec, Canada in 1966. In 1978, his father, who had no knowledge of the arts, brought him to an old painter in Victoriaville to have his opinion on the
few canvases painted by his boy. Encouraged, his parents agreed that an academic training would be adequate. François accompanies his mother to St Petersburg to take painting lessons there during the following summers. The school was taught classically, and he became familiar with the Renoir, Van Gogh and Monet by copying their painting.
At 17, as part of his college studies in visual arts, he exhibited surrealist paintings greatly influenced by his repeated visits to the Dali Museum in St.Peterburg. He then completed a bachelor's degree in visual arts, followed by a certificate in arts education at Laval University.
At the beginning of the 90s, his self-portraits and his characters split into several masses of strong colors influenced by Fauvist painters. In 2000, his more expressionist paintings paid tribute to the participation of French Canadians in Dieppe. The figure and the background merge while the brushstroke travels from one character to another without distinction of the subject being treated. His figures are sometimes disproportionate, incomplete, expressing the emotion of a scene rather than the event itself.
In 2012, his painting described the events of 1837-39 in Lower Canada : The French Canadien Patriots. It stands out that Desharnais approached the palette of Henry Richard S. Bunnett and James Pattison Cockburn. It is to Giovanni Fattori that the painter owes his
group scenes representing men and women who become mere
spots, shadowy, ghostly silhouettes (The Round of the Prisoners VI, The Round of the Prisoners VII). In other paintings, he exploits certain
chiaroscuro in order to draw attention to human misery and hypocrisy.
The 2016, he’s Black Rain exhibition was first painted with the intention of embodying the four seasons, but it’s the fall mood that dominates the series; Black Rain ; dense pigment prevail, creating an atmospheric work whose main tonality, associated with scenes from
Romantic painting. It revealed a broad melancholy portrayal of
an interpretation of the history of Lower Canada. In this setting of trees, the silhouettes are diluted in the darkness of the forest, a sometimes- metaphysical light interfering in the night as if to hope for better days. The composition is not idyllic; she wants to be inclined, feverish.
In 2018, the Permanent Collection of a Formalist Monkey came to life with the noble intention of making it a long-term series.
Permanent collection of a formalist monkey
“I had a starting idea for each of the paintings, but none resisted the act of creation. More often than not, the characters and shapes disappeared as I painted while others came out in favor of a more sincere composition, a new balance and, by necessity, to & a new theme. I approach figuration like the Automatists who advocated
an intuitive approach, but for me, it is representative."
“I first looked at the idea of painting the life of a painter with
his daily activities and relationships, knowing all the same that
the painting is free to become what it is. When painting the
first painting titled The Critics, the idea of the painting in the painting came into being. This type of composition is therefore recurrent in the series.”
In addition to this, you need to know more about it.
Since the pandemic, the painted paintings are no longer considered by the painter as part of a series but rather as a creative continuity.